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The Art of Saying 'No'

“Your need for acceptance can make you invisible in this world. Don't let anything stand in the way of the light that shines through this form. Risk being seen in all of your glory.”

― Jim Carrey

Preparations for my Glastonbury retreat are well underway.

The venue is booked, the workshop is nearly sold out, a table for the Saturday evening meal is booked and the theme of this year’s workshop is coming together including exercises and spreads. What has this got to do with saying 'No' you may well ask? Well here’s the rub, I want to emphasise the topic of mindfulness and wellbeing and our workshop will pay attention to this area. The theme is not just for personal development and discovery but also for accelerating your brilliance as a reader.

There is a common ground between client and reader and that is one of authenticity.

Both may be feeling like complete imposters; this is a classic. We all hit that wall as a consultant when we ask ourselves why on earth are we doing this when we could be doing something normal? Well, we are being normal, this is our normal. The issue is that we have got stuck with the 'not being good enough' syndrome. Whilst self-validation is important and shows honourable humility, it can also be a rod for the proverbial back. The client may also be feeling a bit shy, perhaps even wary, self-conscious and indulgent. In a reading we are engaging in a story, one in which you are participating at that point as a witness. If we believe that we have the clients we deserve and the timing is perfect then it leaves little room for the imposter. We are so meant to be doing what we are doing at that particular moment.

Another element that seems to trip us up is trust.

We sometimes don’t trust the process or the information we are receiving from the cards or from our own psychic/mediumistic sense. This lack of trust could be an echo from our own experiences and that is why working on self is so important. Not that we should aspire to become psychopomps but trust, faith and hope are all part of the personal armoury that makes the world go around. For every step we take in our Tarot and psychic development we make another half a dozen personally. Growth is inevitable and all the more wonderful if we can be conscious of what we are hatching into!

It is becoming apparent that mindfulness and wellbeing are hot subjects now.

This is great for us. As you are probably already aware, Tarot is not just about fortune telling and prediction but transpersonal storytelling and sitting in counsel and divination. Let’s think about that word divination. When we divine something we are tracing something back to the divine source; the Great Spirit is in all things. So, let’s remember we are an aspect of that same Great Spirit and we hand it all over for divine inspiration.

Handing it over to the Great Spirit does not always have to be in a reading situation. It can be true in all aspects of living. When we are sensitive, our connections to others and our thoughts and feelings about them are amplified one hundred percent. Our immediate reaction is to please or make happy the other person. Very often this is because we are uncomfortable or under pressure in some way. Pleasing people is not always an effective way forward. It serves the other person too, but it is us that has the internal battle about saying 'No.'

We could perhaps take a little inspiration from aspects of the Hermit.

The Hermit tinkers with renunciation because he hopes for the approval of others. Saying 'No' when required indicates a move from novice into the accomplished. Hermit has to make decisions based on creating circumstances that will bring peace and calm and this is not always about saying yes. A time for honesty about life followed by an assessment of goals and directions. If we are to work with a vision, either our own or other people’s, then we should understand the motives of self and others and by being in agreement will not always cut it. Let’s call it tough love. This is needed as it can be exhausting being all things to all people, besides, stories are often complex and too much yessing infers one size fits all.

Tarot as a counselling dynamic (we sit in counsel in a reading) brings to the surface hidden and denied aspects, we aim for reformulation and genuine insights.

Telling ourselves or others what they want to hear is not always going to heal or create balance.
It is worthwhile taking a look at our relationship to the word 'No' and how to use other words and phrases instead. For example:
  • What do you feel when you say 'No?'

  • Are you imagining how the other person feels when you say 'No?'

  • If you say 'Yes' then what does that do for you?

  • Do you look for easy solutions?

  • Can you deal with conflict?

  • Do you avoid confrontation?

  • Does 'No' have to be a negative?

Think of a different way to say 'No.' For example:
  • I get the sense that the time is not right.

  • Can you see what may be blocking or hindering you?

  • Perhaps it is a moment to watch and wait?

  • What does the issue look like?

  • Are there alternatives that mean something to you?

A journey begins with a single step.

Perhaps you could think of aphorisms or phrases that will assist you in your fabulous and authentic readings. Write them down and practice on people that know and love you. Honesty is always the best policy.

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